Last week, G and I walked from the Northville-Placid Trail.
The Adirondack Mountain Club first blazed the NPT in 1922, making it one of the oldest long-distance hiking trails in the United States. Despite it’s age, the NPT is not nearly as well known or well travelled as the east coast’s Appalachian Trail and Long Trail. Most hikers come to the Adirondack State Park to hike the 46 High Peaks or to visit the lower mountains that have views This trail travels through the low county, offering no views from mountain peaks. There are no strenuous climbs, no granite cliff faces to scale, no perilous descents. There is a lot of mud.
Why hike a 122 mile trail that offers none of the classic trekking rewards? For us, the NPT offered a different, more intimate view of the Adirondack region. We were able to take our time looking at the forest, thinking about land-use history, tree age, beaver activity, and other nerdy ecology things. We were able to relax in a way that is only possible when no one else is around (a rare occurence in the high peaks). And, of course, being a through-hiker is a reward in itself. One you have set out to walk from Here to There, you feel that purpose with each step. I find that this purpose brings me in to the present in a way that nothing else does. I don’t need to think about the past or the future when I am walking; my mind can simply travel with my feet.
I’ll be posting more about our days in the woods upon my return from the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival(!) and hiking in the Shawgunks this weekend. Happy walking!